Donington Park’s wet and damp conditions certainly brought out the best in Team Abba Racing’s Neary pairing of Richard and Sam this weekend (15th/16th August) in the second round of the Intelligent Money 2020 British GT Championship.
Having qualified lower down the grid that hoped, Richard Neary demonstrated his wet weather racing prowess taking the team’s Mercedes AMG GT3 from 12th to 6th in some difficult conditions in the opening hour of the two-hour format race.
And like father like son, 18 year old Sam Neary’s wet weather pace was a match for the factory pros. He took the fastest lap and held onto the accolade until the next to last lap, only to be beaten by legendary pro driver Phil Keen.
The one-hour race two, declared a wet race, saw mixed tyre choices at the start with Team Abba Racing on a wet tyre configuration. A rapidly drying track saw those on slicks carve their way to the front while the quickest of the wet runners proved to be Sam Neary who performed some impressive overtakes on his very experienced pro competitors as he held fifth place at the pitstops – a jump of five places from P10 where he qualified.
Swapping tyres early in the pit stop window as track conditions changed, Richard Neary took up the mantle, but a spin on a greasy track less than ten minutes before the end resulted in damage and retirement.
Overall a successful weekend for Team Abba Racing and Sam Neary once again demonstrating his ability beside some of the best pro GT3 drivers.
Commenting on the weekend, Sam Neary said: “Overall I am really pleased with how the weekend has gone. My experience of wet racing hasn’t been that much, but it seemed to come together well, and the car felt great. Overtaking Yelmer Buurman, who I know is awesome in the wet, will stay with me for a while! Maybe wet weather racing is in the Neary genes!”
The next race will be at Brands Hatch on the bank holiday weekend – 29th/30th August.
Sam is the iZone Motorsport UK AASE Young Driver of the Year. Last year, Sam who only started racing at the age 16, competed in Team Abba Racing’s BMW M3 GTR in the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship and the Creventic 24-hour series. SMXL
By June 2019 he was testing the Mercedes AMG GT3. He competed successfully in the Mercedes in the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship and GT Cup (taking several pole positions, several firsts and Sunoco Driver of the Day twice).
Thanks to Ian Cutting Photography for photos.